Drew reviews Dragon's software

Voice recognition software has come a long way in a very short amount of time. So much so that you can now operate your computer, send emails or produce documents at 99 per cent accuracy with voice commands. Not only does voice recognition software increase the accuracy of your work, it also allows you to get more done in less time, as thoughts instantly become words.

Review: Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium

I approached the idea of voice recognition software with a touch of scepticism, having used a program five years ago which was seen as market-leading technology, but was nowhere near accurate or a worthwhile experience. As evidenced by the advancements in smartphone voice recognition software, such as Siri, I knew voice recognition had come a long way, but I didn’t expect it to be this competent.

After I had installed the Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium software on my computer, the program walked me through how to use it correctly and I would recommend to anyone using the program for the first time that they not only go through this process, but also take the time to read through the learning centre and tutorials to get a greater grasp on the software.

I set myself two tasks for reviewing the software; to send myself an email and to create a 250 word document.

After setting up my voice profile with the software so that it could understand the tone of my voice, I turned the software on and started talking. “Start email” was my first command and my inbox popped up. “New email” instantly opened a new email and as I wanted to send the test email to myself, I spoke my full name, which selected my email address. “Go to subject field” took me to the subject field and speaking “Thank you for the flowers” filled in the subject field. “Go to body field” then took me to the top of the body field and I was ready to compose my email. This is where the only error occurred throughout the process. “Dear Drew”, which I said fairly fast came out as “Deirdre”. By saying the command “scratch that”, the word “Deirdre” was removed and on my second attempt “Dear Drew” was shown. I then filled in the rest of the email to myself, saying “full stop”, “comma” or “question mark” to use punctuation, followed by “new paragraph” or “new line”.  Once I was done, “send email” shot the email straight into the outbox and the email was sent.

The second-part of my testing went smother than I expected. I read word-for-word one of our recent 250 word articles including all punctuation, via commands, and it didn’t make a single mistake throughout the process. Not only was the process accurate, it was extremely fast.

For me, the most difficult part about using this software was understanding and learning which commands I could use to do what I wanted inside each different aspect of the software. Once you have this mastered, you should be able to operate your computer solely by voice. The best part about the software is that if you don’t know, you can ask the software “What can I say” and it will give you the options available.

I haven’t been this impressed by a piece of software in some time. I would conservatively give the Dragon NaturallySpeaking software a 9.5/10 for experience and 8.5/10 for useability.

Available for PC or MAC, Dragon software starts at just $99.99.

Click here for more information on Dragon voice recognition software.

Written by Drew

Starting out as a week of work experience in 2005 while studying his Bachelor of Business at Swinburne University, Drew has never left his post and has been with the company ever since, working on the websites digital needs. Drew has a passion for all things technology which is only rivalled for his love of all things sport (watching, not playing).